Your mother can no longer live on her own. It is obvious. For the past two years, she has lived in her own home, while you and other family members checked on her every day, bringing meals, running errands for her, visiting with her and fulfilling household tasks.
The strain has left you and other family members looking for solutions. One of them is to have your mother move into an assisted living center or nursing home. After several discussions with your mother, you come to an agreement. She is willing to leave the family home. Now, you must explore the options and choose the right facility for her new, permanent home.
Review, visit and make sure of right fit
When choosing an assisted living facility or nursing home for a parent, it is crucial to understand many things. Here are some key points to consider:
- Conduct your own initial research. Talk with family and friends who may have gone through the same experience. This will help you create an initial list of prospective candidate facilities.
- Consider the location. How close is the nursing home to where you and your parent grew up? Proximity is important in that your parent can expect longtime friends and family members who live nearby to regularly visit.
- Visit the homes. How clean are the rooms, communal areas and overall facilities? Are there bad smells? Is there warm and friendly interaction between the staff and residents? Is mealtime food satisfactory? How clean is the kitchen? If possible, make an unannounced visit, too. You can learn a lot more from second visits.
- Talk with the administration and staff members. Ask questions and express concerns. This is likely the first time that your family has had to do this. One thing to remember: Consider staff and key member turnover. With frequent staff changes, there is likely a problem.
- Make sure the facility is a good fit for your parent. Is it handicapped accessible? Does the staff provide solid care for its residents? What type of activities does it offer?
- Consider the cost and how to pay for it. Perhaps your parent or parents have enough money to pay for the costs. Otherwise, family members may have to pay or even pursue medical assistance options.
- Thoroughly read the nursing home contract. You may have questions, so do not be afraid to ask, especially details you may not understand. Have a trusted friend or family member review the contract as well before signing it.
This marks a big step in the lives of your parent and your family. Saying goodbye to the longtime, cozy and tradition-filled family home is difficult. But the move is inevitable, considering your aging parent’s circumstances. By making the right choices and doing the homework, you will find a new and right facility for your parent.